Armed Forces of the Philippines
Mission | Functions | Vision | Organization | History | Modernization | Govenment Arsenal

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Armed Forces of the Philippines (Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas)

Military branches: Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force, Paramilitary units (CAFGU)
Military manpower, military age: 18-25 years of age (officers 21-29) for compulsory and voluntary military service; applicants must be single male or female Philippine citizens (2010)
Military manpower, availability: males age 16-49: 25,614,135/ females age 16-49: 25,035,061 (2010 est.)
Military manpower, fit for military service: males age 16-49: 20,142,940/ females age 16-49: 21,427,792 (2010 est.)
Military manpower, reaching military age annually: male: 1,060,319/ female: 1,021,069 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures, dollar figure: $49.66-M (FY '88); $995-M (FY '98); $836.9 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures, percent of GDP: 1.3% (FY '88); 1.5% (FY '98); 0.9% (FY 2005 est.)
Military Headquarters: General HQ (GHQ), Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City
Military Service: Voluntary
Personnel Strength: 113,500 regular personnel (2010)

The AFP is responsible for upholding the sovereignty, supporting the Constitution, and defending the territory of the Republic of the Philippines against all enemies foreign and domestic; advancing the national aims, interest and policies; and planning the organization, maintenance, development, and deployment of its regular and citizen armed force for National Security. The Chief of Staff, AFP (CSAFP), under the authority and direction of the Secretary of National Defense (SND) and the President, is responsible for the execution of National Defense Programs and armed forces missions; and prescribe the organization, powers, duties, and functions of the various AFP staffs, services and offices in accordance with the policies of the SND.


1. To secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory.
2. Protect the country from foreign aggression and internal subversion.
3. To advance the national aims and interest.
4. To perform such duties as the President may direct.

An armed force that is fully mission effective, right sized, credibly-equipped, versatile and highly responsive to the technological, doctrinal and sociological changes.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is composed the three major services, namely the Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Army (PA) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF). The organization is loosely based on the structure of the United States military, which it was patterned after during the Commonwealth era.

Considered as one of the most battle-hardened, professional armies in the world due to their long exposure to left-wing Communist insurgency, various Muslim separatist groups, various extreme right-wing groups and various international campaigns in support of democracy. The AFP also engage in nonmilitary activities, such as providing disaster relief, constructing civilian housing, and participating in literacy campaigns. Its foundation day is celebrated every December 21st. The National Defense College of the Philippines (NDC) and Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are the principal defense training institutions.

Chief of Staff, AFP (CSAFP)
Vice-Chief of Staff, AFP (VCSAFP)
The Deputy Chiefs of Staff (TDCS)
AFP Command Center (AFPCC)
Secretary of the Joint Staff (SJS)

Personal Staff
Office of the Inspector General (OTIG)
Office of Ethical Standards and Public Accountability (OESPA)
AFP Sergeant Major (AFPSM)
Liaison Office for Legislative Affairs (LOLA)
Public Information Office (PIO)
Office of Strategic Studies (OSS)

Coordinating Staff (Deputy Chiefs of Staff)
Personnel (J1)
Intelligence (J2)
Operations, Civil Military Operations, Training and Education (J3)
Logistics (J4)
Plans and Programs (J5)
Communication-Electronics and Information Systems Service (J6)
Reservist and Retirees Affairs (J7)

Special Staff
Office of the Adjutant General (OTAG)
Office of the Judge Advocate General (OTJAG)
Office of the Provost Marshal General (OTPMG)
Office of the Chief, Chaplain Service (OTCCS)
Office of the Chief of Engineers (OTCE)
Office of the Chief of Ordnance and Chemical Services (OTCOCS)
Office of the Quartermaster General (OTQMG)
Office of the Chief Nurse (OTCN)
Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG)
Office of the Chief, Dental Services (OTCDS)
Office for Special Services (OSPS)
AFP Real Estate Office (AFPREO)
AFP Educational Benefit System Office (AFPEBSO)
AFP Modernization Program Management

AFP Wide Service, Support Units (AFPWSSU)
General Headquarters (GHQ) and Headquarters Service Command (GHQ & HSC)
Presidential Security Group (PSG, formerly Presidential Security Command PSC) Malacanang Park, Manila
Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Fort del Pilar, Baguio City
AFP Command and General Staff College (AFPCGSC, formerly AFP Joint Command and Staff College, AFPJCSC)
AFP Logistics Center (LOGCTR, formerly Logistics Command, LOGCOM))
Communications, Electronics and Information Systems Service, AFP (CEISSAFP, formerly Communications and Electronics Group, COMMEL)
AFP Medical Center (AFPMC) V. Luna Road, Quezon City, Metro Manila
AFP Commissary and Exchange Service (AFPCES)
Civil Relations Service (CRS)
AFP Dental Service Command (AFPDSC)
AFP Reserve Command (AFPRESCOM) Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Joint Special Operations Group (JSOG)
Intelligence Service, AFP (ISAFP) includes Military Intelligence Groups (MIGs):

MIG-7 (Camp Lapu-Lapu, Lahug, Cebu City?)
MIG-11 Panacan, Davao City
MIG-12 Tubod, Iligan City
MIG-14 WESCOM Complex, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Unified Area Commands
Units from these three services may be assigned to one of several "Unified Commands", which are multi-service, regional entities:

National Capital Region Command (NCRCOM), Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City
AOR: Metro Manila

Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM), Camp General Sevillano Aquino, San Miguel, Tarlac City, Tarlac
AOR: Northern and Central Luzon (Cagayan, Central Luzon, Cordillera, Ilocos regions)

Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM), Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City, Quezon
AOR: Southern Luzon (Bicol, Southern Tagalog regions)

Western Command (WESCOM), Camp General Artemio Ricarte, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
AOR: Palawan and Kalayaan Island Group

Central Command (CENTCOM), Camp Lapu-Lapu, Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu
AOR: Eastern, Central and Western Visayas

Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM), Camp Panacan, Davao City
AOR: Eastern Mindanao

Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM), Camp Don Basilio Navarro, Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City
AOR: Western Mindanao

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Unified Command (ARMMUC)
AOR: ARMM territories

Brief History
The AFP traces its beginnings to the valiant acts of Lapu-Lapu and his men in 1521 when they courageously faced foreign invaders in defense of our country. That single act set the theme that the AFP has lived up until the present. The Quirauat of Zambales in northwestern Luzon, whose people waged a full-scale war against Spain from 1573 to 1673 until the finally conceded freedom of choice of land and religion, the Igorot resistance in the north and the Muslim's unabated defiance of Spanish offensives in the South, our forebears have shown that freedom was a cause worth dying for.

When the Spaniards came, the rise of Filipino Resistance Armies was seen and the National Citizen's Army was founded in February 2, 1899 under the Malolos Philippine Republic. Notwithstanding the lack of arms and ammunition, the newly born army rose to expectations and proved itself a major force to reckon with.

On December 10, 1898, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, ceding the country to the United States of America (USA), signaled the outbreak of the Fil-American war on February 4, 1899. Filipino nationalism and fervor were evident in several instances at this period in history, with the Battle of Zapote bridge on June 11, 1899. In this battle our brave forefathers ably defended their positions against the well-equipped American cavalries. When President Emilio Aguinaldo was captured in Isabela on April 19, 1901, it marked the end of organized resistance to American colonial rule.

Imperial Japan was another colonizer who appeared in our history in the 1930's. They began their drive for territorial expansion which included the Philippines. In keeping with the provisions of the Philippine constitution that made the defense of the state a prime duty of government, President Manuel Quezon, at the very outset of the fledging Philippine Commonwealth government took the necessary steps to ensure national security. It was during this period that the Commonwealth passed Commonwealth Act number 1, the National Defense act on December 21, 1935 which established the Philippine Army with regular and reserve forces. Through his personal intervention, President Quezon succeeded in having Gen. Douglas MacArthur obtain permission from the US war department to release him for service with the then recently created Philippine Army, where he was given the rank of Field Marshall. It also detailed Lt. Col. Dwight Eisenhower, Lt. Col. Ord and Capt. Davis, who will work out with Gen. MacArthur, a plan for the defense of the Philippines. The defense plan elaborated by Gen. MacArthur and his group envisioned an annual draft of able-bodied, twenty-year old Filipino males up to 40,000 in number. They were to undergo intensive army training for five and a half months. ROTC courses were introduced in colleges and universities. Basically, the defense system was patterned after the Swiss Citizen Army conscript concept that by independence in 1946, 400,000 citizen army along with 250 planes of the Philippine Army Air Corps (PAAC) and 50 Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB) of the sea going Off-Shore-Patrol (OSP) would be acquired, with the country divided into 10 military areas with various training cadres, each area to producing 4,000 trained men per year. The Philippine Military Academy was also established to replace the Philippine Constabulary Academy, to produce officers for the Army. War plans provided for a strategic delaying action and withdrawal for a concentrated stand in the Bataan peninsula in the case the Japanese advance could not be contained. On the morning of December 9, 1941, Japanese bombers struck Camp John Hay in Bagiuo and in Tugegarao, Cagayan. War Plan-Orange was immediately put into effect. Filipino and American soldiers fought bravely to contain the advancing Imperial Army, but severe shortage of supplies and equipment as the protracted battle dragged on tolled heavily against Bataan and Corregidor's gallant defenders. The combined forces' valiant stand was not in vain for it made a major impact in Japan's overall strategic war plan which was heavily delayed to the extent that the United States military rapidly replenished its war capability and begin its counter offensive against the invading Imperial armed forces.

On December 23, 1950, President Elpidio Quirino issued Executive Order 389 designating four major armed force area commands (MAC) of the AFP - the Philippine Army for land, the Philippine Air Force for air, the Philippine Navy for sea, and the Philippine Constabulary for internal security, each with a commanding officer whose rank is at least that of Brigadier General or, in the Navy, a Commodore. This force is backed up by a large reserve force and paramilitary forces. Presiding over the MACs is the GHQ, AFP under the Chief of Staff, who reports to the president, the Commander-in-chief, AFP.

When the 90,000 strong, USSR-assisted North Korean forces invaded the South Korean republic in June 25, 1950, the Philippines readily volunteered a battalion, the 10th Battalion Combat (MTZ) team, to help augment the South Korean forces against the invaders. The Filipino contingent sent 17 Sherman tanks and 1 tank destroyer and braved the alien weather and the materially and numerically superior enemy force. The 10th Battalion Combat Team (BCT), Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) arrived in Korea in September 15, 1950, with the mission to search and destroy North Korean guerrillas operating behind enemy lines. They were dispatched to the frontlines, during the Chinese communist intervention and were sent to the central front, where it fought its bloodiest assignment - the Battle of Yultong. They were soon followed by the 20th arriving on September 1951, the 19th arriving on April 1952, the 14th arriving on March 26, 1953, and finally the 2nd BCT, which has elicited numerous praises and commendations from the United Nations for their courageous feats in battle, particularly the imposing stand of the 10th BCT during the Chinese communist spring counter-offensive in April 1951.

In 1963, the Philippines sent another contingent to assist South Vietnam against the Chinese-supported North Vietnam in 1963. The Philippines sent the Philippine Civic Action Group to Vietnam (PHILCAGV). Regardless of combat casualties, the volunteers built roads, bridges and various other infrastructures.

In the 70's internal threat to the security of the nation was posed by various communist movements led by its armed wing, the New People's Army and its political wing the National Democratic Front (NDF), waging battle against the AFP in urban and rural areas, largely through terrorism. In the south, the secessionists Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) waged guerrilla warfare against the AFP to fulfill their objective of a separate Muslim Mindanao state.

The communist insurgency has taken it toll on the AFP, reaching its height in the 80's with a strength of 20,000 cadres, severely straining its logistical capabilities and making the AFP focus on internal security instead. The AFP has also to contend with right-wing elements, RAM-SFP-YOU, coming from disgruntled members within the body, which staged a series of bloody coup d'etats in the late 80's. In the 90's the MNLF signed a treaty with the government for lasting peace in Mindanao, with some of its regulars being absorbed by the AFP. The MILF is still under negotiations with the government, after bloody encounters in 2000-01, where their major base Camp Abu Bakr was overrun by elements of the AFP. The AFP also faced several bandit groups, the most notorious of these were the Red Scorpion Group and the Abu Sayyaf group, which are effectively neutralized as of today. In 1991 the Philippine National Police (PNP) was created in place of the defunct Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP), as the national police arm of the government and was separated from the AFP command and is under the control of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The AFP recently sent contingents to Iraq (PUNGCI), East Timor (UNTAET PKF) and Liberia, all under the auspices of the United Nations for humanitarian relief and peacekeeping duties. The AFP's main focus nowadays is to finish off the 37 year old insurgency of the CPP-NPA, which left the negotiations after being tagged by the US and the EU as terrorists, and more recently intrusions into the country's 200 mile EEZ, particularly in the Kalayaan Island group (KIG), where there were minor skirmishes with elements of the People's Republic of China armed forces. In February 23, 1995, Republic Act 7898 was approved authorizing the AFP to modernize and upgrade its ageing equipment in response to external threats, with an annual budget of Php 10 billion for the first five years, though as of 2005 a total of only Php 5 billion was allocated by Congress.

In 2005, the Medium Term Capability Upgrade Program (Mid-term CUP) was conceived as a six year program. Its aim is to restore at least 70% of the critical capabilities of the AFP which are needed in conducting ISO. These capabilities pertain to (1) command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR), (2) mobility, and (3) firepower. For a period of six years, will focus on retraining and retrofitting 12 Army battalions and 2 Marine battalions, a total of 84 infantry and Marine battalions will be equipped and trained, which means providing them equipment for C4ISR, mobility, firepower and combat support. In addition a national training center will be established to provide for the training needs and requirements associated with this program.

Internal Security Concerns (2004)

Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU)
CAFGU continued to provide critical operation support to free the regular AFP battalions for offensive operations. Maintained strength of 52,066 deployed in 13,399 barangays or 25.7% of the total barangays nationwide. They participated in 31,393 small unit operations and contributed to the successful neutralization of 75 enemies and the recovery of 43 high powered firearms in 2004.

MNLF Integration Program
The AFP integrated 5,570 Officers and Enlisted Personnel (EP). The MNLF integrees have been assigned as regular and organic personnel of the 1st Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division, 6th Infantry Division, 53rd and 54th Engineer Brigade, all in Mindanao. Eighty five MNLF officer integrees were granted scholarships through CHED. Nine hundred forty nine EP integrees accorded education accreditation by DECS for a 5-year period.

Indigenous People (IP)
Three hundred twenty five slots for enlistment in the Army allocated to Higaonon, Manobo, and B'laan, DBabawon - Mandaya tribes in Mindanao. They have been processed for training.

Philippine Defense Reform Program
On October 1999, the Joint Defense Assessment (JDA) began as a policy level discussion between the Philippine Secretary of National Defense and the US Secretary of Defense. An initial JDA report in 2001 provided an objective evaluation of Philippine defense capability. During a May 2003 state visit to Washington DC, President Arroyo requested U.S. assistance in conducting a strategic assessment of the Philippine defense system. This led to a follow-up JDA and formulation of recommendations addressing deficiencies found in the Philippine defense structure.

The results of the 2003 JDA were devastating. The JDA findings revealed that the AFP was only partially capable of performing its most critical missions. Moreover, the results pointed overwhelmingly toward institutional and strategic deficiencies as being the root cause of most of the shortcomings. A common thread in all: the lack of strategy-based planning that would focus DND/AFP on addressing priority threats and link capability requirements with the acquisition process.

Specifically, the 2003 JDA revealed critical deficiencies in the following specific areas:

Systemic approach to policy planning
Personnel management and leadership
Defense expenditures and budgeting
Supply and maintenance
Quality assurance for existing industrial base
Infrastructure support

During a reciprocal visit to the Philippines in October 2003 by U.S. President Bush, he and President Arroyo issued a joint statement expressing their commitment to embark upon a multi-year plan to implement the JDA recommendations. The Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) Program is the result of that agreement.

The DND and the AFP are currently undertaking comprehensive, integrated and long-term efforts to further boost the capability of the Philippines military to respond and address the multi-front fight against various security threats, particularly terrorism and insurgency. This initiative is under the rubric of the Philippine Defense Reform Program (PDR), which has been ongoing since 2003. The PDR has eight (8) component thrusts:

1. Implementation Of A Strategy-Driven, Multi-Year Defense Planning System (MYDPS)
A planning, programming and budgeting system that will undertake multi year defense planning will enhance defense resource management in the DND and the AFP. It will enforce fiscal responsibility by enabling the DND and the AFP to outline specific strategies, define objectives, identify needed capabilities and resources to be provided under anticipated financial limits.

2. Improvement Of Operational And Training Capacity
Improvement of operational and training capacity of the AFP enjoys a high priority in the comprehensive reform agenda for the AFP under the PDR. The backlog of training for the AFP will be addressed focusing on training for commanders, non-commissioned officers and units. Emphasis will also be given to the development of doctrines, training and operations of joint forces that involve the utilization of land, maritime and air forces under a unified command.

3. Improvement Of Logistics Capacity
The lack of needed logistics in the frontlines has been used as an excuse for the practice referred to in the Feliciano Commission report as 'conversion' evidently, there is a need to improve the logistics capacity of the AFP to address this.

Improvement of logistics capacity involves the enhancement of operational readiness and reliability rates for all platforms and weapons systems as well as the logistics efficiency of key AFP systems. This will entail improvements in planned maintenance and maintenance procedures, supply chain management, automated supply management system, inventory controls and logistics training.

4. Improving Operational Level Expertise By Addressing Organizational, Management And Operational Systemic Deficiencies (Staff Development)
The staff development program of the DND and AFP shall include the development of expertise and management skills in the DND and AFP in critical areas or functions that directly impact on the AFP's capability to plan, support and execute effective operations.

5. Improvement Of Personnel Management Systems
Improvement of personnel management systems in the DND and AFP shall include: (a) review and evaluation of personnel policies and personnel management systems; (b) realignment of AFP force structure to address strategy, threat and mission; (c) reduction of personnel costs; and (d) automation of the personnel management information systems.

6. Planning, Programming And Execution Of A Multi-Year Capability Upgrade Program For The AFP
As previously discussed, for the mid-term, the 6-year AFP capability upgrade program for the AFP will focus on the basic requirements of the AFP to improve its capabilities in fulfilling its missions in pursuit of its internal security operations.

7. Optimizing The Defense Budget And Improving Management Controls
This will feature needed improvements in the generation of requirements for planning, budgeting for the DND and AFP as well as the creation of structures and systems for oversight within the DND and the AFP major services to manage resources and requirements from planning to execution.

8. Creating A Professional Acquisition Workforce And Establishing A Centrally Managed Defense Acquisition System
A defense acquisition system will be established in the DND and the AFP manned by a competent and professional acquisition workforce capable of requirements generation, planning, accountability, reporting and acquisition. The defense acquisition system will be capable of evolving effective acquisition strategies, and policies as well as efficient processes and organizations. In preparation for the transition, the DND and AFP shall establish mechanisms and structures that will serve as precursors for the establishment of a defense acquisition system.

9. Increasing Capability Of The AFP To Conduct Civil Military Operations

To diminish the underlying socio-economic conditions and spur development in the countryside, the DND and AFP shall support efforts of the government that will facilitate the entry of economic enterprises in conflict areas. The DND and AFP will also encourage government departments and agencies to identify and intensify particular programs and action plans that support the counter-insurgency campaign funded under their corresponding budgets. The DND will also support the enhancement of convergence of government efforts at addressing the root causes of the insurgency.

10. Information Management Development Program
Information management shall support and enhance the decision-making system of the DND and AFP through management of information, information systems and technologies. It aims to establish an enterprise information system that efficiently facilitates the flow of information and knowledge, and that enhances information-sharing while assuring security and relevance, in order to ensure right decisions. Two important steps in this undertaking will be establishing an effective strategic framework; and, assuring that information being used is interoperable, interrelated, timely, available, secure, and that operations, systems and technology are addressed and conform to the existing standards.

From the perspective of the DND, the framework for reforms is based on an environment of increasing economic prowess and a gradually decreasing threat level over time, and seeks to make the following improvements:
1. Address AFP capability gaps to enable the AFP to effectively fulfill its mission.
2. Implement capability for seamless interoperability by developing proficiency in the conduct of joint operations, eliminating crisis handleing by individual major services as done previously.
3. Improve effectiveness of internal security operations.
4. Enhance capability to counter terrorism and other transnational threats.
5. Provide sustainment and/or long-term viability of acquired capabilities.
6. Improve cost-effectiveness of operations.
7. Improve accountability and transparency in the DND.
8. Increase professionalism in the AFPthrough reforms in areas such as promotions, assignments, and training.
9. Increase involvement of AFP in the peace process.

According to the goals stated in the Philippines Defense Reform Handbook:, "The PDR serves as the overall framework to re-engineer our systems and re-tool our personnel." The Philippine Defense Reform follows a three step implementation plan:
1. Creating the environment for reform (2004–2005)
2. Enabling the defense establishment (2005–2007)
3. Implementing and institutionalizing reform (2007–2010)

On 23 September 2003, President Gloria Arroyo issued Executive Order 240, streamlining procedures for defense contracts for the expeditious implementation of defense projects and the speedy response to security threats while promoting transparency, impartiality, and accountability in government transactions. EO 240, creating the Office of the Undersecretary of Internal Control in the DND, mandated in part to institutionalize reforms in the procurement and fund disbursement systems in the AFP and the DND. On 30 November 2005, the Secretary of National Defense issued Department Order No. 82 (DO 82), creating the PDR Board and formalizing the reform organizational set-up between the DND and the AFP and defining workflow and decision-making processes.

Funding of the Philippine Defense Reform Program
The PDR is jointly funded by the U.S. and R.P. governments. from 2004 to 2008, funding amounted to $51.8 million from the U.S. and $514.0 million from the Philippines. Initial planning assumptioned that the 18-year span of reform would encompass a period of steady rise in economic growth coupled with equally steady decline in the military threat from terrorists and separatists. Neither of these projections have proven accurate. As of 2010, at the six-year mark of PDR, the Philippine economy was internally strong, but suffering during a period of recession that crippled Philippine purchasing power. Worse, the threat situation in the Philippines had not improved significantly, or as in the case of the Sulu Archipelago, was deteriorating. The depth of the PDR’s impact may not be as significant as originally desired. e.g. the Philippine legislature continues to significantly underfund the DND and AFP, currently at 0.9% of GDP, compared to an average of 2% world-wide, and a 4% outlay by the US. Even with full implementation of all the PDR’s programs and recommendations, the defense establishment would not be able to sustain itself at current funding levels. While this can be made up by future outlays, as of 2010 observers see no outward sign the legislature is planning to do so.

The overall direction of the PDR is to enhance DND and AFP capabilities from a strategic and comprehensive perspective. The PDR will provide institutional, structural and systemic reforms that will address the current deficiencies in the DND and the AFP that breed corruption, waste and inefficiency. These reforms are based on templates for defense reform that have been tried and tested in several countries that have undertaken similar reform measures in the past.

AFP Modernization

Republic Act 7898 otherwise known as the AFP Modernization Act was enacted on February 23, 1995 and signed into law by the President on June 14, 1995. The law provides for the modernization of the AFP to a level where it can effectively and fully perform its constitutional mandate of defending the sovereignty of the state and protecting and preserving the patrimony of the Republic. As a sign of support to the program, the two houses of Congress passed a Joint Resolution Number 28 on December 19, 1996, contained therein the list of equipment that the Armed Forces is intending to acquire with its necessary budget requirement. JR 28 also mandated the AFP to be reconfigured into a compact, efficient, responsive and modern standing force that can meet external defense requirements, support internal security operations, respond to crises and particpate in nation-building.

The AFP Modernization Program was based on the assumptions that the domestic peace and order will continue to improve and that internal security will become a primary responsibility of the Philippine National Police. Likewise, it was based on an optimistic forecast that the Philippine economy will continue to perk up which will enable the national government to support the necessary fund requirements.

The modernization program is composed of five interrelated components. These are the Force Restructuring and Organizational Development (FROD); Capability, Materiel and Technology Development (CMTD); Bases and Support Systems Development (BSSD); Human Resource Development (HRD) and Doctrines Development (DD). Its identified funding sources are the appropriations from the national government; proceeds from sale or lease of military bases; sales from Government Arsenal; proceeds from the disposal of old and uneconomical equipment; and interest earned from the AFPMP Trust Fund.

Priority Shift
The implementation of the AFP modernization Program (AFPMP) for the first five years (1997-2001) was a period of establishing the appropriate mechanisms and systems needed for the seamless executions of the different modernization projects. The upsurge of insurgent activities in the late 1990's and the enactment of the Republic Act 8551 otherwise known as the PNP Reform Law facilitated the transfer of primary responsibility on Internal Security Operations (ISO) from the PNP back to the AFP. With these developments, the AFP has to reexamine the program, particularly the CMTD component and reprioritize the projects involved. Equipment foreseen as essential in the conduct of Internal Security Operations were frontloaded and the planners came up with the reprioritized project list - a list of equipment scheduled for acquisition. Foremost of which is the acquisition of tactical communication equipment to address the need of secure radio communications from the battalion down to the squad level. Our armor assets are also considerably enhanced with the acquisition of the Armor Recovery Vehicle and the programmed upgrade of M-113 APCs. To provide for additional firepower for the squad, acquisition of the Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) is also among the priority. The development of the night fighting capability of our troops was also given primary attention with the programmed procurement of night fighting equipment comprised of the night vision monocular which could be mounted on the helmet or on the rifle, infrared laser aiming device for target acquisition and the zeroing device. Force protection equipment is also on the acquisition process consist of body armor and ballistic helmet. This project would make the foot soldier less vulnerable to enemy fires considering that his head and upper body are well protected. All of these projects were funded out of the CY 2000 and CY 2002 fund releases for the modernization program. Some of those have been delivered while most are in the contract perfecting stage. It is expected that most of it will be delivered before the end of the year.

Other components of the program have been given equal importance except for the Force Restructuring and Organizational Development component wherein up to now has been put on hold. For Doctrine Development, most projects are focused on formulation and publication of manuals, Doctrine Center capability upgrade and various doctrine development support activities. On Human Resource Development, four areas were given fund support. These are the projects on career development, personnel procurement, work life quality enhancement and reserve force development. Bases and Support Systems Development component focuses on the boundary surveys, selective fencing, topographic surveys and formulation of Conceptual Master Plan of PA bases and reservations. The funds used to support projects under these components are the modernization fund releases in CY 2000 and CY 2002.

Factors Affecting Implementation of the Modernization Program
It is almost a decade since the passage of the AFP Modernization Act. The Philippine Army in particular has only prosecuted a handful of projects which has not impacted much on its day-to-day operations in the execution of the mission. Expectations on the program have not been substantially met. It is because the success of its implementation relies heavily on financial support. An optimistic Php 50 billion for the first five years or Php 10 billion per year to jumpstart its implementation was not realized. Funding only poured in 2000 as a result of the sale of portions of Fort Bonifacio while appropriated funds from Congress was obtained in 2002. Of the total Php 10.91 billion funds, the Army was able to get a share of Php 3.817 billion to support various modernization program components. About 91% of the funds were used to support equipment acquisition or upgrade under the CMTD component. As of late, no funds were appropriated that is intended to support the modernization program of the AFP.

Shifting of priority is also another factor that delays the acquisition of major-end equipment. The incessant justifications on what equipment has to be given priority and the corresponding funds to be allocated per project by each Major Service caused the unpredictability of the program and consequently losing its impact. Decisiveness on the part of the leadership especially on the identification of projects to be fulfilled is wanting. Reprioritizations of projects considering the limitation in financial resources take much time.

Integration of Priority Lists
Realizing that the insurgency problem will still be there in the next five years, and to preempt further changes in the priority list especially during leadership changes, an effort to come up with a single AFP Modernization Program Project Integrated Priority List focused on the restoration and upgrading of basic ISO capabilities had been initiated. The integrated priority list is a document that synchronizes necessary capability development initiatives of the Major Services of the AFP through a joint acquisition scheduling for equipment for a specific capability to be developed. The integrated priority list is primarily based on the Joint Resolution Number 28 list of equipment while other necessary ISO equipment has been included. It was prioritized based on the National Military Strategy, the AFP ISO Assessment and the findings in the Joint Defense Assessment of 2003. It was endorsed to the President and was approved President Arroyo in August 2004.

Renaming to Capability Upgrade Program (CUP)
The continuous reexamination of the modernization program and the validation of the projects to be carried out eventually led to its renaming. As the newly designated Secretary of National Defense (SND) has commented that the AFP is not really modernizing but rather, only upgrading its capabilities, thus capability upgrade program was coined. The formulation of the medium term capability upgrade program was based on the integrated priority list that was previously developed with the guidance from no less than the SND that its focus should be on the Capability, Materiel and Technology Development component of the AFP Modernization Program. The annual funding projection is Php 5 billion for the span of six-year period. The key capability areas to be developed are the C4ISR, Mobility and Firepower.

In consonance with the priorities established in the Capability Upgrade Program, the key capabilities that the Philippine Army will develop in the next six years are on the communicate, move and shoot capabilities. Communications were given foremost importance with consideration for the fact that most of our communications equipment in the inventory is outmoded and not secured from enemy eavesdropping efforts. The new communication equipment to be procured has the necessary security features that will foil enemy radio monitoring of our forces' communications especially during combat operations. The second priority is the acquisition of various land mobility platforms to address the lack of mobility assets in the field units. With the secured communications and sufficient mobility, maneuver of units/troops will be enhanced. The last but not necessarily the least is the improvement of firepower capability with the acquisition of additional Squad Automatic Weapons and Night Fighting Equipment. The scheduling for the upgrade of various armor assets in the inventory provides additional firepower support as well as troop mobility and force protection.

Long Way Ahead
The Modernization Program is for the period of fifteen years. If we base it upon the passage of the law, there remains only about six years to realize what has been originally conceived. Should the law cease to effect by 2010? Should there be another enabling law to provide continuity? Internal security problems that beset the country should be solved first prior to the external defense posturing of the AFP as recognized by most of the stakeholders. The solution is to focus on the Internal Security Operations capability development.

The CUP will be the strategic focus of AFP capability development in the medium term and will be the prognosis of AFP capabilities by CY 2011. The fulfillment of the capabilities envisioned relies heavily on the financial aspect. A need to solicit the support of higher authorities is beyond question. Perhaps government authorities should recognize that capability development of the Armed Forces is one major factor in the establishment of a strong Philippine Republic.

The Government Arsenal (GA)
The Government Arsenal (GA) is mandated to produce sufficient munitions for the use of the AFP and the PNP and for sale and export in excess of AFP/PNP requirements; to achieve within reasonable time, self-sufficiency in small arms, mortars and other weapons, ammunition for these weapons and their munitions.

The GA, like the AFP and the NDC also is under the DND and is located at Camp General Antonio Luna, a 370-hectare defense industrial estate in Lamao, Limay, Province of Bataan, about 120 km from Manila by land, 70 km from Subic and 90 km from Clark. Just three km from the Port of Limay, the Arsenal is strategically situated near the Petron Bataan Refinery, the Bataan Combined Cycle Power Plant, the National Power Corporation Plant, the Petro-Chemical Complex, and the Special Economic Zone at Mariveles, Bataan. To sustain its operations, the GA presently maintains and operates 124 buildings and structures sprawled over 70 hectares of land.

A creation of Republic Act No. 1884 which was signed into law on 22 June 1957, the Arsenal is a line bureau under the DND. However, it was only about a decade later, on 7 March 1967, that a presidential proclamation on its present site at Limay, Bataan was declared. Accordingly, on 12 October 1967, the ground breaking materialized at the spot where the statue of General Antonio Luna now stands. Site preparations were subsequently undertaken by the 514th and 564th Engineering Construction Battalions of the 51st Engineering Brigade of the AFP. Construction of essential buildings and facilities then followed along with training abroad of selected military and newly hired civilian personnel on the manufacture of small arms ammunition (SAA).

On 15 August 1971, or fourteen (14) years after the enactment of RA 1884, the first SAA cartridge rolled out of the GA's production assembly line. Three years later, the integrated SAA manufacture began, with all the components - case, primer, propellant powder, and bullet assembled into a complete cartridge - manufactured in the arsenal.

As a strategic resource, the arsenal is envisioned to be a center for defense industries to meet domestic requirements and supply the world market. In line with this vision, the GA explored in the early 1980's, the possibility of exporting excess production, improving ammunition technology and expanding the capability for weapons production as called for in its charter. However, the impediments under the then existing laws prevented any real progress in this direction.

It is fortuitous that on 23 February 1995, Republic Act 7898, otherwise known as the AFP Modernization Act, was enacted. RA 7898 likewise provides for the modernization of the Government Arsenal for the development of production capabilities to enhance self-sufficiency in defense requirements. Specifically, Section 12 of this Act mandates that "the government arsenal shall be utilized in the production of basic weapons, ammunition and other munitions for the use of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP), and for the sale and export of products in excess of AFP/PNP requirements." Furthermore, the GA is authorized to use such production facilities as it may own or be provided under the law or as it may arrange under joint venture, co-production or similar arrangements with local and foreign entities.

Under the Self-Reliant Defense Program, the GA manufactured 3.417 million rounds of assorted small caliber ammunition during the CY 1998. In CY 2001, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the GA and a local gunsmith to conduct research and design on the prototyping and eventual production of an assault weapon (MP9). This is aimed at enhancing the capability of the GA to produce weapons and other defense materiel for use of the AFP and the PNP, besides small arms ammunition production. As per its charter, the Arsenal is mandated to also manufacture firearms. Said MOA is a pioneering effort of the GA in this regard. For the first semester of 2004, the GA effectively and efficiently managed its resources to attain its core programs as well as collateral projects and other related activities to service its client, the AFP. It provided quality ammunition, and discharge well its social responsibility harmoniously with surrounding community. It has aptly supported its human resource in terms of benefits, skill upgrading and various welfare programs to a more productive workforce. The fourth prototype of the 9 mm Special Assault Weapon manufactured in-house by GA passed the test-firing stage during the year. The AFP has scheduled 10 units of the weapon for field testing. GA posted three accomplishment ratings of over 100% in its manufacturing activities to provide the AFP with 14.708 million rounds of small arms ammunition. As authorized under existing laws, the Bids and Awards Committee of the Department proceeded with negotiated procurement for the Master Development Plan of the Arsenal. The plan includes a joint venture project to modernize GA manufacturing facilities.

The Arsenal Modernization Program has identified the following projects:

Phase 1. The upgrade of the existing capability is aimed at acquiring modern equipment and technology for the integrated manufacture of small arms ammunition.

Phase 2. The establishment of a nitration plant is aimed at providing the country its first main local source of military grade nitrocellulose (NC). When established, the plant could also be utilized to produce industrial grade NC for the paint and other industries.

Phase 3. The establishment of a cold rolling mill is aimed at self-reliance in producing brass and gilding metal for ammunition manufacture. When established, the plant could be utilized as well to produce coin blanks for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other industrial/commercial brass and copper materials.

Phase 4. The establishment of a ball powder plant is calculated to produce various propellant powders for small and medium caliber ammunitions.

Other Projects
In addition, the GA has plans to explore the feasibility of undertaking other defense projects, including arms/weapon systems manufacture, on a joint-venture, co-production or other arrangements with foreign or local partners as a step towards promoting the development and growth of defense-related industries in the country.

Present Thrust
The GA intends, subject to the approval of the Secretary of National Defense, to undertake a joint venture enterprise with foreign and local partners initially with Phase 1 of its program. The Circular of Requirements for the Joint Venture (JV) options of Phase 1 has already been approved pursuant to a 28 September 1998 Memorandum of the Secretary of National Defense to the Director, GA and the Chief of Staff, AFP.

Phase 1 envisions a JV to upgrade the existing manufacturing lines leading to the integrated manufacture of SAA which includes: a.) manufacture of the case, bullet, link, primer, propellant powder and finished cartridge; and b.) fabrication of tooling, gages and other accessories. As a minimum requirement, the JV should be able to establish a dedicated line for the manufacture of 5.56 mm M193 and M855 (SS-109) case/bullet manufacture, and cartridge/assembly.

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Thanks to manokski for some info

Last modified on 9/17/06

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